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CNME Bites The Dust

 

The holiday season can bring unexpected gifts. Such is the case this season as the Naturopathic profession has been delivered a very deserving present. It will bring sorrow to some, but joy to so many. The joy will far outweigh the sorrow. What is it you ask? Have we peaked your curiosity?

The gift is an eighteen (18) page report by a staff analyst for the United States Department of Education (USDE) examining the credibility and integrity of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME). The report written for the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity recommends that CNME be denied their status as an accreditor of naturopathic programs. This recommendation is expected to be forwarded to Richard Riley the Secretary of Education on December 6, 1999. CNME will be given an opportunity to respond, and will do so in their usual fashion of lying, playing dumb, and blaming it all on someone else.

The truth is CNME has never fully qualified, or complied with USDE regulations. In 1987, William Bennett cited several instances where CNME did not comply with USDE regulations. However, he still approved them based on the integrity of Dr. Hayhurst's support. Again in 1991, Lamar Alexander cited several instances of non-compliance. So, for CNME to bite the dust, and lose their accreditation status is a delight, long overdue.

This outcome was easily predictable as far back as 1988. Unfortunately, CNME was made up of graduates from National and Bastyr College. Instead of expanding the profession, opening it's arms to all naturopaths as originally promised, the exact opposite occurred. CNME chose to promote National and Bastyr College as professional medical schools, in spite of their poor history, abandoning traditional naturopathy in favor of drugs and surgery.

In a statement released by CNME, Robert Lofft, executive director, stated "We intend to remain in any event as the accrediting agency for naturopathic education programs". FALSE, FALSE, FALSE, what a joke! To think that the naturopathic community is going to stand by and allow CNME to continue their mistakes shows they are out of touch with reality. With approximately 10,000 practitioners in the United States, it is doubtful CNME will be anything but a past organization known for its failures. CNME, because of its narrow thinking, will never be the "gatekeepers". CNME, in our opinion, has never been anything but a self serving organization.

ANMA has always had it right. While CNME was busy limiting the profession, ANMA was doing its best to unite it. ANMA knows what "qualifies" one to be a "naturopathic physician" and "primary care physician", and what "qualifies" one to be a "naturopath". Additionally ANMA has gained the recognition of the Federal Intermediary Council on Alternative Medicine, and World Organization for Alternative Medicine.

Yes, this gift is viewed as a blessing. Gather round and celebrate. The naturopathic profession is about to receive the recognition it deserves. All is right with the world! From all of us at ANMA, to all of you, have a very happy holiday season, and best wishes for a prosperous and fulfilling new year.

UPDATE: 12/6/99

The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, for the United States Department of Education voted 8 to 3 to deny The Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME) recognition as an accrediting agency.